United States Total Farm Output Input and Total Factor Productivity

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This dataset provides estimates of productivity growth in the U.S. farm sector for 1948-2013, including indices of farm output, input, and total factor productivity for the United States. All the data is measured as a percentage in this dataset.


It is widely agreed that increased productivity is the main contributor to economic growth in U.S. agriculture. The level of U.S. farm output was about 2.7 times its 1948 level in 2013, growing at an average annual rate of 1.52 percent. Aggregate input use increased at a modest 0.05 percent annually in the same period, so the positive growth in farm sector output was very substantially due to productivity growth, which increased at an average 1.47 percent per year.

Single-factor measures of productivity, such as corn production per acre (yield or land productivity) or per hour of labor (labor productivity), have been used for many years because the underlying data are often easily available. While useful, such measures can also mislead. For example, yields could increase simply because farmers are adding more of other inputs, such as chemicals, labor, or machinery, to their land base. USDA produces measures of total factor productivity (TFP), taking account of the use of all inputs to the production process.

Specifically, annual productivity growth is the difference between growth of agricultural output and the growth of all inputs taken together. Productivity, therefore, measures changes in the efficiency with which inputs are transformed into outputs. USDA also produces State-level productivity measures (annual growth rates as well as cross-State differences in levels) of productivity, or differences in output per unit of combined inputs. Input measures are adjusted for changes in their quality, such as improvements in the efficacy of chemicals and seeds, changes in the demographics of the farm workforce, or innovations in machinery design. As a result, agricultural productivity is driven by innovations in on-farm tasks, changes in the organization and structure of the farm sector, and research aimed at improvements in farm production. In the short-term, measured agricultural productivity can also be affected by random events like the weather.
– U.S. agricultural productivity growth compares favorably to agricultural productivity growth in other industrialized countries, and to productivity growth in the overall U.S. economy.
– The level of U.S. farm output more than doubled between 1948 and 2013, growing at an average annual rate of 1.52 percent. Aggregate input use increased at a modest 0.05 percent annually in the same period, so the positive growth in farm sector output was very substantially due to productivity (sometimes referred to as total factor productivity, or TFP) growth, which increased at an annual 1.47 percent over the 1948-2013 period.
– During the 2007-13 subperiod, growth in output maintained an average annual rate of about 0.9 percent, comparable to that in the 2000-07 subperiod (the subperiods are measured from cyclical peak-to-peak in aggregate economic activity). During 2007-13, however, input use declined 0.54 percent per year (compared to increasing 0.32 percent per year over 2000-07), and measured average annual TFP growth rate rebounded from 0.6 percent during 2000-07 to 1.45 percent during 2007-13.

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United States


John Snow Labs; United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Economic Research Service (ERS);

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Agricultural Productivity, Farm Productivity Growth, US Agriculture, Farm Practices in the US

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Estimation of Productivity Growth in the United States Farm Sector, Total Factor Productivity and Farm Output Input in the United States

Production_YearYear of productionstringrequired : 1
Percentage_Total_OutputTotal output is defined as gross production leaving the farm, as opposed to real value added.numberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_All_Livestock_and_Products_OutputTotal output of livestock and their products including meat animals, dairy, poultry and eggs etc.numberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Meat_Animals_OutputTotal meat animal output achievednumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Dairy_OutputTotal dairy output achievednumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Poultry_and_Eggs_OutputTotal poultry and eggs output achievednumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Total_Crops_OutputTotal crops output achieved including all food grains, feed, oil, vegetables and melons, fruits and nuts crops etcnumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Food_Grain_Crops_OutputTotal crops output achievednumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Feed_Crops_OutputTotal feed crops output achievednumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Oil_Crops_OutputTotal oil crops output achievednumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Vegetables_and_Melons_Crops_OutputTotal vegetables and melons crops output achievednumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Fruits_and_Nuts_Crops_OutputTotal fruits and nuts crops output achievednumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Miscellaneous_Crops_OutputOutput from the miscellaneous cropsnumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Farm_Related_OutputGross farm related output achievednumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Total_Farm_Related_InputFram related inputnumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Total_Capital_Inputsum of the capital input appliednumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Durable_Equipment_Capital_InputCapital input of durable equipmentsnumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Service_Buildings_Capital_InputCapital input of service buildingsnumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Land_Capital_InputCapital input of the agricultural landnumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Inventories_Capital_InputCapital input of the inventoriesnumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Total_Labor_InputTotal input given by the labornumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Hired_Labor_InputInput given by the hired labornumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Self_Employed_and_Unpaid_Family_Labor_InputInput given by self-employed and unpaid family labornumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Total_Intermediate_Goods_InputInput given by intermediate goods, including feed, seed, energy, fertilizer, lime and pesticide. Intermediate goods produced and consumed within the farm are self-canceling transactions and, therefore, do not enter either output or input accounts.numberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Feed_and_Seed_Intermediate_Goods_InputInput given by feed and seednumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Energy_Intermediate_Goods_InputFarm input contributed by energy utilizednumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Fertilizer_and_Lime_Intermediate_Goods_InputFarm input contributed by lime and fertilizernumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Pesticides_Intermediate_Goods_InputFarm input contributed by pesticidesnumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Purchased_Services_Intermediate_Goods_InputFarm input contributed by purchased servicesnumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Miscellaneous_Intermediate_Goods_InputFarm input contributed by miscellaneous sources.numberrequired : 1 level : Ratio
Percentage_Total_Factor_ProductivityTotal Factor Productivity (TFP) is the relationship between the growth rates of multiple outputs to the cost-share weighted growth rates of labor, capital, and intermediate inputsnumberrequired : 1 level : Ratio